JAH KONGO also known as THE AFRICAN WARRIOR, was born Mandla Qotsini on 01 July 1985 in Soweto, Jozi. He moved to Cape Town, Khayelitsha with his family when he was a baby and there he fell in love with music from a very young age.
He started performing in the church choir singing tenor and enjoyed it greatly. At age 13 he was hanging around a famous local reggae artist known as Mega, and that’s where he met Zorro and Red Stone at Mega’s house, there he fell in love with reggae music. He enjoyed the melody, the harmony and it’s lyrics. So inspired, in the same year him and friend Thabiso started their first group called Chuck T after Kongo’s then stage name, Chuck, and T from Thabiso. The group did well in local road shows and high school shows.
In that time Jah Kongo’s taste in music was changing and growing further from the usual R’nB sound to the ska and reggae sounds of Toots and The Maytals, Lucky Dube, The Wailers, Capleton and he later started listening, learning and enjoying local afro-jazz sounds of Hugh Masekela, Mzwake Mbuli, Lebo Mathosa, and Brenda Fassie amongst
In 1999 after a chance visit to a Rasta Church with friends while living in Welkom, he started taking bible studies on a daily basis and learned more about Rastafari. The Rasta way of life changed his perspective of life and took his music to a different direction to what Chuck T used to do.
In 2001 back in Cape Town, Jah Kongo started a group called DUNGEON AFFAIR with friends Blaq Supreme, Judgement Son, Mic Herbalist and Judahka. They were a young group who had a vision of becoming a
The group did so well, performing all over Cape Town’s clubs and major festivals. In 2003 it had grown to a 20-member group consisting of artists such as Black Coal, Lady Sunshine and D.J. Sensi. After 6 good years with Dungeon Affair, Jah Kongo went solo and started his own company called Queen Sheba Entertainment (QSE) hosting shows such as the annual Ladies Night and Lions Fest, which coincides with Jah Kongo’s birthday.
Jah Kongo worked with Scratch Israel, Ricky Bushula and Isaac kalako on producing his December 2008 EP called, All I want. The EP featured artists such as Maxhoseni and Black B on a love song called My love for you. He featured Scratch Israel on two tracks called Seven Days and I don’t care. Baby Scrujah on Hustlin and Big Head on Crime, Jah Kongo marketed the EP himself and it has sold ova a thousand copies
since it’s release date.
The EP exposed Jah Kongo to a wider audience, taking him on national tours and negotiating international deals.
He has shared a stage with his childhood hero’s such as Jamaica’s I Qulah, Anthony B and London based artists, Prince Mallachi and Peter Spence, also with the late sis Brenda Fassie. He has performed with South Africa’s most recognised reggae band Azania. He also collaborated with Sista Cassie from USA on two successful tracks called What for and Crime rate too high and also collaborated with Miss Sunshyne from Dublin, Ireland and many more
artists. Jah Kongo has worked with France base producer Yoan Minkoff from Major Yo productions.
Since the release of the EP, he has collaborated with many more producers and his voice is heard on many mixtapes that are doing well in the streets of Cape Town and Johannesburg. 2012 saw Jah Kongo featuring on his own music video for one of his most beloved song, 1st Night which will be released at a later stage. Another music video for Bambulele is in pre-production. In May 2012 he released a mixtape with his long time friends Ras Melody and Xisto
called Total Take Over under Coded Records.
He released his long awaited debut album titled Jahkongo on the 15th of June 2013 which happens to be a youth month in South Africa
Jah Kongo is well loved for his humble personality and his direct approach to matters of life in his music. He is named the African Warrior for good reasons. He’s an inspiration to his community’s youth and hopes to keep uplifting many people, young and old, through his music. He recently became de 1st performing artist of EmpireGyalz Promotions.
Jah Kongo’s EP and Album are available now.
check him out at:
Source: Jah Kongo
« Back to Glossary Index